English Language Arts Course Offerings

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ELA Courses

Academic Teaching Assistant in Middle School or High School Classes

Graduation Credits: N/A
Credit Type: School Service
Prerequisites: Teacher approval (form available)

High school students may arrange to assist in a middle school academic class in which they have significant experience with the discipline, or a high school class in which they have already earned credit. This is an opportunity to earn school service credit, but NOT academic credit. TAs are expected to check in with the cooperating teacher regularly, participate fully in each class, model class expectations, assist in supporting students and the teacher whenever possible, and engage in pre-planning if taking a lead role as teacher. Prior teacher permission is required.

 

Comparative World Literature and History (HLA129)

Graduation Credits: 5
Credit Type: ELA OR History/SS
Prerequisites: ELA 10

This course takes us on a trip around the world studying literature from other countries. We will read, write, and discuss works from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. As we read and analyze fiction and nonfiction from different countries, we will think about how cultures shape people’s experiences. We will also work to break down our own assumptions. Let’s figure out through our own travels–on and off the page–what we have in common with those from foreign lands and what divides us so that we can unravel some of history's major conflicts.

Creative Literature and Writing (HLA103)

Graduation Credits: 5
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: ELA 10

This course is a process writing course which examines the construction of texts and the methods employed by published authors to captivate audiences. In a structured class environment, students read literary texts as models and as a source of inspiration for writing creatively. Students are expected to read and examine a variety of texts from different genres. Using a writer’s lens, students identify and describe literary elements. Students focus on the “process” of writing and not the “product.” Process work includes reading, revising, sharing, and presenting.

 

English Language Arts 10 (ELA109)

Graduation Credits: 10
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: ELA 9

This yearlong course builds upon and extends the reading, writing, oral communication and study skills established in ELA 9. The reading component includes novels, short stories, drama, poetry, and non-fiction. Students are expected to read and respond to texts critically, sensitively, and in detail. The course also aims to help students develop their proficiency in writing for different purposes and audiences; to feel confident about expressing their thoughts and feelings effectively in class discussions; and finally, to practice giving formal presentations. We focus on the writing process. In late winter we begin to prepare directly for the spring’s MCAS test, and, at the very end of the year, we engage in a project that is a culmination of the year’s study.

English Language Arts 9 (ELA110)

Graduation Credits: 10
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: None

The goal of this course is to gain a deeper understanding not only of literature and writing, but also of ourselves as learners and thinkers. We read together often, conduct close analysis, and write about the readings. Assignments include writing in various forms, research, presentations, creative work, quizzes, tests, group and individual projects, and a final assessment. The readings are intended to be challenging, the discussions lead to deep thinking, and the writing requires both time and effort.

 

Foundations of ELA 10

Graduation Credits: 10
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: Administrator Recommendation

"Foundations" courses are aligned to PVPA's core academic courses at the high school level, yet course objectives are individualized to appropriately meet students' specific learning needs. These courses occur in an inclusion model, with students participating in classes with their peers in the general education setting.

Foundations of ELA 9

Graduation Credits: 10
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: Administrator Recommendation

"Foundations" courses are aligned to PVPA's core academic courses at the high school level, yet course objectives are individualized to appropriately meet students' specific learning needs. These courses occur in an inclusion model, with students participating in classes with their peers in the general education setting.

 

Foundations of Humanities

Graduation Credits: 5
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: Administrator Recommendation

"Foundations" courses are aligned to PVPA's core academic courses at the high school level, yet course objectives are individualized to appropriately meet students' specific learning needs. These courses occur in an inclusion model, with students participating in classes with their peers in the general education setting.

Humanities 7 (ELA107)

Graduation Credits: N/A
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: None

In this two-year program for 7th and 8th graders, students explore human society and culture by examining literature, history, art, geography, and civics. This course is designed to enable students to explore issues and topics as they develop reasoning skills, writing skills, and speaking skills. Students will learn developmentally appropriate language arts skills and be presented with the opportunity to demonstrate their learning through a variety of arts-based projects, presentations, and performances.

 

Humanities 8 (ELA108)

Graduation Credits: N/A
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: None

In this two-year program for 7th and 8th graders, students explore human society and culture by examining literature, history, art, geography, and civics. This course is designed to enable students to explore issues and topics as they develop reasoning skills, writing skills, and speaking skills. Students will learn developmentally appropriate language arts skills and be presented with the opportunity to demonstrate their learning through a variety of arts-based projects, presentations, and performances.

Playwriting (HLA133)

Graduation Credits: 5
Credit Type: ELA OR Theater (concentration only if course is taken for ELA credit)
Prerequisites: ELA 10

Learn how to write for character, create and resolve conflict through dialogue, and structure plots to create engaging, well-made plays. This course is writing-intensive, and students should expect to share their work with classmates in a writing lab format. Credits may be applied as Theater credit OR ELA credit. Either way, taking this course meets the "Creative" requirement for the theater concentration.

 

Poetic Voice (HLA107)

Graduation Credits: 5
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: ELA 10

This course is an in-depth study of poetry focused around a creative writing workshop. Students share original poems during a weekly workshop, and use the feedback to edit their works using the “June Jordan” rubric. In the first half of the semester, we study closed form and read excerpts from Mary Oliver’s "A Poetry Handbook." In the second half of the semester, we read excerpts from "Good Poems For Hard Times," edited by Garrison Keillor, as a guide while we work in free verse structures. There is a heavy emphasis on vocabulary study as well. We finish the course by performing pieces of original spoken word theater for the school, and creating a class anthology of our works.

Public Speaking (HLA134)

Graduation Credits: 5
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: ELA 10

This course introduces public speaking and oral communication for the 21st century. Students write and perform different types of speeches for a wide range of audiences and purposes. We look at famous speeches from history as we strive to improve our own rhetorical skills. Debate, poetry, monologues, and public service announcements round out our practice. An integral part of the course is working with modern communication methods–print, broadcast media, blogs, twitter, email, facebook, etc.–in order to improve our understanding of public speaking. Students hone not only their public speaking skills but also their ability to be active, engaged listeners.

 

Race, Class, and Gender Through Literature (HLA139)

Graduation Credits: 5
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: ELA 10

This course examines the intersectionality of race, class, and gender, and how our shared and differing definitions of these terms apply to the works we read together. Students view texts through different literary critical lenses as they engage deeply with the writer’s craft. Students participate in close reading, analytical and creative writing, and presentation practice throughout the course. Students synthesize their learning in a final presentation that includes analysis of one work we studied in depth, as well as personal exploration of the student’s own racial/ethnic identity, class identity, and gender identity.

The Art of the Essay (HLA109)

Graduation Credits: 5
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: ELA 10

The goal of this course is to help students become better writers. Students build upon skills they already possess as they study the essay form in all its variety. As students explore the various approaches, they will be introduced to more sophisticated ways to persuade, inform, and move readers. Based upon the readings and class discussions, students will be given the opportunity to cultivate their own voices as writers and to discover writing approaches that feel most effective to them.

 

Themes in Literature - Utopia/Dystopia (HLA132)

Graduation Credits: 5
Credit Type: English Language Arts
Prerequisites: ELA 10

This course examines how writers use the genre of utopia/dystopia literature to examine current trends, societal norms, popular culture, and/or political systems of modern societies. Students participate in close reading of texts to focus on the unique characteristics and literary devices utilized by authors to make important statements. Students examine the rhetorical devices used by writers to create a persuasive argument/commentary in their novels. Students also discuss the author’s ideas that lie beneath the surface of the novel’s setting. Ultimately, students will be able to analyze and articulate the role that utopian/dystopian literature plays in society.

Topics in American Studies (HLA104)

Graduation Credits: 5
Credit Type: ELA OR History/SS
Prerequisites: ELA 10

This interdisciplinary course asks the questions of what is “America” and what does it mean to be an “American?” We will explore American traditions and diverse cultural expressions through literature, history, politics, music, and art as we search for answers. American Studies is an ongoing conversation, and together we will work to understand how Americans of different backgrounds, living during different time periods, have created the idea of an American identity. Students will undertake individual projects on topics of their choice--perhaps a look at Broadway, the relationship between food and community, or the creation of memorials and national parks. We will read, write, research, argue, and create together.

 

 

See other department catalogs
ENGLISH LA | HISTORY/SS | MATH | SCIENCE | WORLD LANG
DANCE | MUSIC | THEATER | VISUAL ARTS/TECH